Receiving treatment from a clinical scientist will feel different than treatment from other clinicians. Movies portray therapists as all-knowing, intuitive warm women counseling a person crying, reclined on a couch. The common features of a clinical scientist provider is that we measure you constantly and use technology extensively. Data show that clinicians who use their “gut” to judge how therapy is going consistently overestimate progress. In other words, clinicians think therapy is going better than it actually is. For a clinical scientist, accurate information, even if it is not encouraging, is essential.
This approach can be challenging for clients. Some clients want to discuss their stressors each week or speculate about how their childhood caused their problems. Clinical science is probably not a good fit for you if you want to process each weeks activities and stay in therapy for years. Clinical science will be a better fit for clients who prefer to understand both their strengths and weaknesses and work on skill building designed to help you solve challenges in the future. Put another way: Our job is to make it so you don’t need us any more.